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Ice Out in Voyageurs National Park

a small boat in a body of water

Spring is a wonderful time of year in Voyageurs National Park. The arrival of Spring brings longer days and more direct sunshine. The energy of the sun brings a flurry of new activity to the border lakes region, northwest Ontario, sunset country, and the northern boreal forest and lakes. This fresh spring activity can be categorized into human activities and the activities of the flora and fauna of Voyageurs, the Northern forests and the waters of Crane Lake, Sand
Point, Namakan, Kabetogama, Rainy Lake, Rainy River, and Lake of the Woods. This leads to melting lakes, migrating birds, mating grouse, and the promise of another summer. Although subtler than us noisy humans, the awaking of nature after the long winters slumber can be quite riotous.
The awakening after the long winter is an amazing thing to witness. Here are five of our most phenomenal Springtime occurrences:

a person sitting in a boat on a body of water

1. Melting of the Lakes
Although slow and steady the “breaking up” of the northern lakes is quite spectacular. After the snow has receded and the ensuing water has drained off of the lake surface, a perfectly smooth sheet of glare ice remains that would be the envy of any hockey or curling rink curator. This surface is perfect for skating, pick-up games of hockey, and sand lot style curling matches. As the ice continues to deteriorate and pulls away from shore we look out anticipating being on the water again. Then, without warning, the ice starts to break up. If you have your boat ready you can launch and partake in harvesting the most delicious and pure ice cubes in the world. Perfect for your favorite cocktail or spirit.

2. The Return of Migratory Birds
The return of the seagulls and other migratory birds marks a Springtime milestone. After the noisy return of our feathered friends, the gulls, Springtime is officially upon us. Other typically hard to spot migratory birds use Voyageurs National Park as a starting point on their way destinations farther north, sometimes traveling as far as the Arctic Circle.

3. Ruffed Grouse
The slow thump and increasingly rapid drumming of the ruffed grouse is a sound unique to springtime in northern Minnesota’s boreal forests. The male grouse use an elaborate dance and drumming to attract a mate. Sometimes this phenomenon can be so loud that it distracts your thoughts and allows your mind to escape far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

4. Birth of Fawns
Spring is when mother deer, after surviving the cold winters, give birth to their fawns. Even though these fawns are extremely well camouflaged, it is not uncommon to see them testing out their new legs while on one of Voyageurs Outfitters wildlife boat tours. The circle of life is all around us in Voyageurs.

5. Preparation for Summer in the Park
As nature awakens, humans do as well. Although some may disagree, we are an integral part of our ecosystems and spaceship Earth. At Voyageurs Outfitters, we are busy getting power boats, sailboats, pontoon boats, Tour boats, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards ready for the upcoming busy summer season. We go through all of our camping and boating gear to make sure it is safe and at the high standards that our customers demand. Captains go through safety and interpretive training programs so that our clients have the most enjoyable and safe experience in Voyageurs National Park. Voyageurs National Park staff are busy getting their boats ready and opening the visitor’s centers and campsites. Resorts are busy as well getting ready tor the bustling tourist season.

Springtime, with all of its new sounds, sights, smells, and activity is truly an incredible time in Voyageurs National Park. Call us to book your spring glamping trip, boat tour, ice harvest excursion, or hiking adventure. We are here to guide you through all aspects of planning your trip. From initial thoughts of trip planning to getting out to your campsite and cooking that authentic shore lunch, the staff at Voyageurs Outfitters are here to help you make the most of your adventure.

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